United Way leaders celebrated the campaign’s conclusion — and kicked off a new year of fundraising — Thursday night at Grace Meadows Farm in Jonesborough.
Beyond the monetary donations raised, United Way CEO Kristan Ginnings and 2018 Campaign Chairman Gary McAllister reported the United Way received $33,472 in in-kind donations last year and generated 340 volunteer hours valued at $89,649 for a total community impact of just under $1.7 million.
A review of the United Way’s 2018 accomplishments included:
• Expansion of the number of nonprofit agencies receiving annual United Way funding from 17 to 21 providing a total of 35 service programs;
• The launch of a virtual reading program that engaged volunteers with 325 students in 10 Johnson City and Washington County classrooms;
• Funding for services that touched the lives of more than 78,000 people in Washington County;
• Funding for 1,500 pairs of new shoes for Washington County and Johnson City schoolchildren in need; and
• Campaign meeting impact activities that provided schools supplies for 120 children, 900 toiletry items for veterans at the VA Medical Center domiciliary and new toys for children at Niswonger Children’s Hospital.
Quoting last year’s campaign theme, McAllister said, “Did we change lives and make a difference in our community? I think we did.”
The celebration also introduced United Way 2019 Campaign Chair Jennifer Owen.
Owen announced the theme of this year’s campaign as “New Year, New U” which she said represents the United Way’s new approach to making a greater impact on the community.
Owen also introduced a mascot for this year’s campaign, #Wishmore, a tiny toy wizard who she said will be out and about visiting the United Way’s partner agencies, attending United Way fundraising activities and increasing the United Way’s presence on social media platforms where the public can follow along.
The guest speaker for the celebration was Niswonger Children’s Hospital CEO Lisa Carter.
Carter said 2019 will be another year of change that will be sustainable for the United Way and also “a great opportunity for this community to come together, rally around and make lasting changes.”
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